Teachers worried about insurance - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Teachers worried about insurance

October 18, 2005

Albany -- The president of Georgia's largest teachers union says they are very concerned about shrinking medical benefits.

The Georgia Association of Educators president says Southwest Georgia teachers are having to make tough decisions about the state's new healthcare plan. Besides higher premiums, United Healthcare has fewer area doctors in their coverage.

Some teachers have talked strike, but the G.A.E. says not yet. "I have not heard the word strike, but I have heard the alarm. Providers are not offered in some areas. I understand right in the Southwest area of the state, people are not having immediate care," said G.A.E. President Dr. Merchuria C. Williams. "They have to travel places to get that care, under this new policy provider, United Healthcare."

Dr. Williams said educators are also frustrated by the rising number of immigrant students in Georgia schools that can not speak fluent English. The G.A.E. says it's not fair those students test scores will be used to determine which teachers and schools are succeeding.

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